William B. Evans, interim commissioner and a 31-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, was appointed its commissioner by Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Thursday.
“Commissioner Evans has been an exceptional leader to the Boston Police Department, and public safety is one of my biggest priorities,” Walsh said in a statement. “Commissioner Evans has been an invaluable resource to me during this transition period, and I know that his expertise and governance of the police department will be a key component to my administration.”
Evans, who has held leadership roles on the force for several years, was instrumental in the successful, peaceful handling of the 70-day occupation of Dewey Square by Occupy Boston, as well as the city’s response in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent capture of alleged terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He joined the department as a patrol officer in 1982 and rose through the ranks, becoming captain of Area D-4 in 2006.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley commended the mayor for his decision to name Evans as police commissioner.
“He’s an excellent choice and represents the very best of a department that respects his experience and leadership,” Conley said in a statement. “As a prosecutor, I’ve seen his commitment to careful, thorough investigations that continue well after an arrest is made. But even more than this, he’s earned the trust and partnership of countless people outside the law enforcement community.”
A 2008 graduate of Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Evans recently completed a certificate program for senior executives in state and local government. He also participated in the National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, John F. Kennedy School of Government/Harvard School of Public Health, as well as National Post-Graduate School and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Executive Leaders’ Program.
“Over the past several years, we have made remarkable strides in reducing crime and addressing quality of life concerns in our neighborhoods,” Evans said in a statement. “We have formed lasting partnerships and strengthened relationships with the community. Tremendous work has been done but there is still much to do to make all of our neighborhoods safer.”
Evans replaces Edward F. Davis, who stepped down from the commissioner’s post on Nov. 1 after seven years in the position.